Editors – an end has a start

If you’re like me, shopping around Christmas time means one thing. Monotonous Christmas music. That same song that you hear from one store to the next. If it’s not the same exact song by the same person, it’s another version by whatever artist decided to put out their own version of a Christmas album.

And then, it gets stuck in your head. You can’t get it out. The only thing I find myself able to do is to go Weird Al on the tune and make up my own lyrics when “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” refuses to leave the spaces between my synapses.

This tune by Editors did the trick the other day, so I hope it might help you as well. They are coming to Vancouver soon with Hot Hot Heat on the double bill at the Commodore Ballroom on February 5, 2007.

Nuts and dried fruit goes a long way

Christmas thanks at work If there is one thing that everyone should remember, at least during one point in a year, it’s to thank the folks that work hard, behind the scenes, to make things happen. I only say this because when it happens, it makes those people feel good for all the hours of labor that often wouldn’t be possible unless you had people willing to do the task and not demand a lot of credit.

That might sound selfish, but let me be completely honest. I work in radio, and that’s exactly what I do. It’s not a cry for attention or a need to be just as recognized as those people that are on the mic day in and day out. This is more of a plea for the rest of the world, at least those in the working force who rely on people with technical expertise on a daily basis, to just show a token of appreciation.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve had quite the week already, the twelve hour day I just got done with, or the thought of the tasks looming on the horizon. When someone brought the gift basket into our department from the sales folks, it certainly made me feel good, no matter how many fires I have to put out in a day or how much my brain hurts by the time it hits the pillow.

And seriously, if this sounds at all familiar to you, remember to at least thank those people.

Rocking the Osoyoos

It’s been a whirlwind last week or so, but I want to make a mention of the excellent long weekend that we had in Osoyoos.

Vinyards down the hill

I wish I could say that we did a lot of really cool things, but there is something to be said about going on holiday. To me, that’s means not doing a lot. One could say that cooking good food and hanging out on the beach is a lot, but that’s the speed of things that we both needed for getting away, especially with the amount of workload that has come with my day job.

Penticiton is over there

On Sunday, we thought about doing some wine tours, but once we got into the car, it was tough to stop driving when we had some incredible, hot weather and good music going on the iPod. Instead, we ventured through Oliver and Penticton to explore the area some more.

Crusing misc. back roads

There is something to be said about getting on the back roads to get a true sense of the Okanagan, especially after you’ve done a handful of wine tours before. It’s not that I’m against them (or the sampling), but it’s almost more impressive to drive by as many operations that you can and see them from the outside than seeing just a few from the inside. And if you think that the valley is impressive from the bottom, get up on the hills. Very cool perspective.

Marmot pose

The marmots amazed me, and I realize that this makes me no better than the throngs of tourists who photograph the raccoons in Stanley Park like they are a dying breed. They were simply everywhere at one point. They’re plump and don’t move, even in the hot, hot sun.

When it comes down to it, numerous pictures of just hanging out on the lake just didn’t cross my mind. It was time to relax in the midst of all the busy things going on right now. As I write this, I’ve been awake since 3:30AM to work a remote until noon, only to have more things to take care of for future remotes in the afternoon. I knew this was on the horizon, so it’s why we took it very easy over the long weekend.

Gorgeous view of the valley

I’m ready for another.

Happy Fourth!

It would be rude of me to not bestow good wishes to those who are celebrating this American holiday. Living out of the country, it is curious to see how the rest of the world keeps going on while the party happens in the states. In fact, it’s more like waiting in line for a really cool concert. Everything outside is kinda lame and at a snails pace while the fun stuff is going on inside.

That’s not to say that things in Vancouver is or has been lame. Canada Day[wiki] has its excellent merits. Spending the day on the beach and following it up with dinner on a patio that overlooks English Bay with a pitcher of mojitos? Muy buen.

Field of Dreams (July, 2005) Being an American and not being in America can be hard on days like this. I have a wealth of memories of times past. In fact, we watched Field of Dreams last night for my unknown numberth of times, and it was nearly three years ago that my family spent the day there, playing catch, taking turns at bat, and wandering the corn fields. Makes you miss those times a lot.

When I think about being American, it’s those times that make me appreciate my roots. I could care very little about being called a nationalist for flying my flag, and you can stick it for calling me an ex-patriot. I know exactly what I am and where I have come from, and politics and foreign policy means little to me on a day like this. It’s also why I am not afraid to hide from the fact of where I grew up. The Midwest is my home. Born and raised, and there is nothing you can do to change that.

Riding the little league all-stars float, playing in the high school marching band, the tractor after tractor in the parade, the piles of treats left behind by the horses, stuffing yourself with meats from the grill, picking the corn out from between your teeth, and the flinching concussions from those fireworks that are shot into the sky with all the pretty ones only to have a little blip of a flash, followed by a rattling boom.

Happy Fourth of July!

He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny

Easter Bush

On a very serious note, it was really sad to hear that director Bob Clark passed away last week. He was killed in a car accident, along with his son, by a drunk driver while driving around L.A. Clark was the man behind a constant staple of quotes in my daily vocabulary, not to mention the mandatory watching of A Christmas Story[imdb] every year… at least twenty times… in one day.

Not to be a complete downer, I do hope that your Easter was a good one and you enjoy the Easter Bush. In a week, my parents will be visiting Vancouver for a little while, so our long weekend will be spent preparing for their arrival, not to mention figuring out where to explore while they are here, not to mention being just in time to experience playoff madness as the Canucks take on the Dallas Stars in round one. Woo! Should be a blast.

Note: The Easter Bush is a personal creation. We took Rebecca’s official, A Christmas Story Ralphie (action) figure and removed the pink bunny outfit that comes with it. We then applied that to a George Bush figurine that my parents gave me, comically, for my birthday one year. Thus, the Easter Bush has been born.

Happy St. Patty’s Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day Hope you enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day today. 300 today, Canucks game tonight, so I can’t complain at all.

However, the true party is that fifth day in May. Mark it down and get the blender ready for some mad margaritas.

And a beer in a tree

We just got back from hauling the three kids of Rebecca’s sister through Stanley Park to check out the lights that are on display there. I know that this video from my cellphone isn’t of the greatest quality. I thought I would give it a try, and at least you can actually see that we were there. What you don’t see is how packed it was. People everywhere and a three hour wait to ride that train. Borderline chaos.

20061223(007) Now to try my hand at baking. Then it’s pretty much eating for two straight days. Welcome to the holidays, but I won’t be complaining.

Best wishes to everyone, everywhere this season. May it treat you well.

Can’t escape the fire

Seriously, you stand no chance of avoiding it.

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) – Back by popular demand…

Shaw’s holiday fire log is celebrating its 20th anniversary and will be rolled out again this holiday season.

No need to chop or haul wood or stoke the fire.

For those who don’t experience the crackling of a warm fireside hearth over the holidays, Shaw Communications is once again comforting TV viewers with its yuletide fire log.

Beginning December 23rd and continuing through to December 27th, fire log fans can cozy up in front of their television sets for what’s become a holiday tradition for many viewers. [cknw]

Ah geez. Alright, I can’t quite say why I’m waging my own personal war against this. Maybe it’s because I would love more than anything to have our own fireplace. I don’t know. All I know is that this bugs me to no end.